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Ex-BBN housemates, Nengi, Trikytee, appointed SSAs to Bayelsa governor

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Two members of the recently concluded Big Brother Naija, Nengi and Trikytee, have been appointed Senior Special Assistants to the Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri.

Nengi, whose full name is, Rebecca Nengi Hampson, was appointed as Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Girl Child Development.

She emerged the second runner-up of the 2020 reality TV show, BBNaija lockdown edition.

Nengi’s colleague and Bayelsa-born Tarimotimi Sinclair aka Trikytee was also appointed a senior special assistant.

Governor Diri announced the appointments in Government House, Yenagoa, on Friday when the Bayelsa-born former BBN housemate (Nengi) visited.

The governor told Nengi that the state was proud of her performance and conduct at the just concluded TV reality show.

Trikytee tweeted, “I want to thank His Excellency the Executive Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri, on my appointment as Senior Special Assistant to the Governor of Bayelsa State…What an honour, I am grateful.”

Diri announced the appointments in Government House, Yenagoa, on Friday when the Bayelsa-born former housemate visited as part of her homecoming activities.

The governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah, expressed satisfaction with Nengi’s conduct, brilliance and for identifying strongly with her state during the show, adding that the government and people of Bayelsa State were proud of her.

Diri said, “On behalf of the people and government of Bayelsa State, I want to say that we are proud of you.

“Let our girls know that there is so much they can achieve in various facets of life. Arising from your participation, we were told that if not for other factors, you are the de facto winner of the show. So you are welcome back home.

“We believe that now that you have been recognised nationally and internationally, you will be the face of Bayelsa and I hereby announce you as the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Bayelsa Girl Child Development. The same goes for your fellow ex-housemate, Tarimotimi Sinclair aka Trikytee. So, both of you are hereby appointed Senior Special Assistants to the Governor.”

Responding, Nengi said, “I want to commend you, Your Excellency. You are doing a good job and we are so lucky to have you as our governor. I’m equally here representing thousands of Bayelsa girls all over the world.

“There are so many concerns that I have but now that we would work together, I hope that we can do so much for the girl child. I also want to use this medium to give back to the society. So, I’m going to be reaching out to people affected by the flood through the First Lady.”

Nengi’s former housemates have taken to their social media accounts to congratulate her.

Laycon, winner of the BBN lockdown edition, said on his Twitter account, “My senior special assistant ma. My SSA. Yes ma; anything for you ma. Clear the road for the SSA. @nengiofficial.”

Another housemate, Ozo, said via his Twitter account, “Congrats to @nengiofficial on your appointment for the position as the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor, Face of Bayelsa State and ambassador for the girl child Bayelsa State. Many more blessings.”

The third runner-up of the show, Neo Mobor Akpofure, also tweeted, “Omo my girl oo.. Senior Special Assistant to the Governor and Face of Bayelsa State. Congrats my sister @nengiofficial.”

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400 suspected Boko Haram, bandits’ sponsors arrested

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Security agents have arrested about 400 businessmen for allegedly funding operations of Boko Haram and bandits in the country.

Daily Trust reported that the businessmen were arrested in an operation coordinated by the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), and in collaboration with the Department of State Services (DSS), Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

President Muhammadu Buhari was said to have approved the operation in 2020.

The newspaper reported that an initial list of 957 suspects comprising bureau de change (BDC) operators, gold miners and sellers, and other businessmen is being acted upon.

A source told the newspaper that about 400 persons were arrested in Kano, Borno, Abuja, Lagos, Sokoto, Adamawa, Kaduna and Zamfara.

Names of the BDC operators arrested were given as Baba Usaini, Abubakar Yellow (Amfani), Yusuf Ali Yusuf (Babangida), Ibrahim Shani, Auwal Fagge, and Muhammad Lawan Sani, a gold dealer.

Those arrested are reportedly being kept in military and the DSS facilities in Abuja and other places.

“Because this is economic warfare against the insurgents and other militant groups, the president, when approving the operation directed that the NFIU take the lead as the country’s financial intelligence powerhouse,” Daily Trust quoted a source to have said.

The source added that “with the presidential approval, a task team was composed of personally selected senior officers who were deployed under the DIA to carry out the special assignment”.

“The main person coordinating the funding ring for Boko Haram is in our custody, he and his closest ally in the business,” he said.

Another source was quoted to have said about 19 BDCs owned by persons with “direct connection with Boko Haram” were uncovered, while over N300 billion was found to have been used in funding terrorism.

Apart from one person in Borno and another in Zaria, Kaduna state, the source said over N50 billion were traced in funding to the armed groups.

“A number of those arrested have divulged vital information including operational details of bandits and Boko Haram insurgents. But they are being kept to aid further arrests,” the source was quoted to have said.

Family members of those arrested, the newspaper reported, have been calling on the government for their release.

In 2020, six Nigerians were also jailed in the United Arab Emirates for allegedly funding Boko Haram.

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Former Ondo deputy governor agrees to return vehicles

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Former Ondo Deputy Governor Agboola Ajayi has finally agreed to return the two vehicles in his possession to the Ondo State Government.

The state government last week said it would embarrass Agboola if he failed to return the four vehicles.

But Agboola, who said he had only two vehicles, insisted they were part of his benefits.

The state government also petitioned the Ondo State Police Command to help recover the vehicles.

In a statement on Sunday, the former deputy governor said he was not the problem of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu’s administration.

Agboola stated it was in the interest of everybody that Governor Akeredolu demonstrated good governance, transparent policy making and effective change.

He said it was unfortunate some members of the inner circle of Akeredolu have prioritised harassing him on a number of issues most especially the return of vehicles

Agboola said he hoped “these petty interactions would have ceased after the recent inauguration.

“To be clear – if the return of these two vehicles will make the administration focus more on the avalanche of pressing needs, challenges and predicaments facing the state most especially insecurity, the absence of governance and unpaid salaries across the entirety the Ondo public sector – then I’m ready to make the sacrifice and return the two vehicles which they so desperately need.

“I am not the problem of the present administration. I have moved on.”

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Pensioners demand payment of N35bn arrears

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Nigeria pensioners who retired from the electricity sector have urged President Muhammadu Buhari, to come to their aide in order to resolve the lingering issue of their owed N35billion pension arrears.

The pensioners under the aegis of Electricity Sector Retiree Welfare Association (ESREWA), led by its  President, Elder Benjamin Amako, asked President Buhari to save countless dying pensioners whose fate are tied to the delayed payment of their pension arrears.

Rising from its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja, Amako said every Nigerian, including President Buhari, knows the pathetic situation of pensioners in the country.

Amako said: “First we thank God that Mr President returned from his medical trip healthier, stronger and successfully. The news of his return gave us pensioners so much joy because we know  he will not sit quiet and watch more pensioners lose their lives because of humanly inaction. So far, his administration has ensured that pensioners gets their rights and this arrears we are asking for is our right.

“Interestingly, President Buhari had already directed that this same arrears (N35billion) be paid to us, but for over five years ago he issued the directive, the relevant authorities who it is their responsibilities to ensure we get this arrears for our dying members seems to be working contrarily.

“So for the past five years, these arrears have always been part of the National Budget under Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Company (NELMCO) budget and accordingly transferred to Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD). But sadly, we have not been paid a dime even as I speak, for reasons that are totally and obviously human making.

“So we are pleading with President Buhari, the SGF, Minister of Finance, Chairman Senate Committee on Power, Accountant General of the Federation, PTAD and other relevant authorities to save our lives by paying us this money without further delay.”

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